Transcribing

I’m home with a cold. It’s not even a bad cold–in the history of my minor sicknesses, I’ve definitely had worse, and this may be one of the better ones, actually, because I’ve been drinking pitchers and pitchers of water. But I know 7.5 hours on the phone will not help today. Tomorrow I’ll go and abuse my voice, but I’ll take one recuperating day.
Sometimes I wish I did not have a job whose primary responsibility is to talk. It could be so much worse. I could have a job in which I don’t have the flexibility to take off when I’m not feeling well. I could have a job without benefits. I could be jobless.
Anyway, I’ve been prepping for the NLS trial manuscript. For those of you who don’t know, the NLS is the National Library Service for the Blind, a branch of the Library of Congress, and they have a certification process that enables a person to become a certified braille transcriber. My requirement to pass is that I have to submit a 35-page literary braille manuscript; with Sheila’s help, I chose Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin. Actually Sheila gave me this entire idea in the first place and allowed me to use it as my braille work for last semester. The brailling was easy, but the formatting and proofreading work gave me a deeper respect for the work
transcribers do. Sheila also kept telling me things like, “You can really get some decent income from transcribing” and “I earned nine thousand dollars this summer transcribing.”
But it wasn’t until yesterday that I really started thinking of this gig as more than an exercise. My friend,

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